2. Label the name and date you purchased the item.
An easy trick is to have your butcher wrap individual cuts, or layer small cuts (like 2-3 pieces of bacon) in between butcher paper and freezer wrapped as a whole. This saves you time and money (complimentary service at Smith's and Lee's), and correctly labels the meat and date. Shown here is two steaks of Tilapia.
Some items with a high fat count you can freeze whole, and slice as you need. This also keeps sausage in tight, formed patties.
For leaner meats and cuts, you can individually wrap them in zip-lock. Shown here is ground turkey in 1 lb. sections for a single entre for two people.
If you are uncertain as to the amount you'd like to freeze (or short on ziplocks), you can freeze all the meat in one bag and indent the portions with a wooden spoon, so as to break off easier after frozen. Shown here is a ground beef and bacon combination in 1/2 lb sections; that way we can break off one section for cheeseburgers, or two or three for meatloaf.
Rules to remember:
1. Always wash and sanitize hands, countertops, boards, and knives BEFORE and AFTER meat preparation.
Asparagus is a shoot, so go for the thin and tender ones: they have a more sweet, earthy flavor and are a lot easier to chew. Be sure to rinse the clay/dirt off, or "swish" in a full sink of cool water. The tips of asparagus should be dark and supple, while the stalk closest to the root should be white and hard. You can spend a lot of time cutting the white stalk off --or---simply bend the the stalk and it will naturally break off where it transitions into a hard core.
3. Store in a zip-lock to ensure as little air as possible is with the shoots. You can freeze them in a zip-lock for 18 months. Be sure to label and date!
NOTE: if you grill them on a grill rack (and not a grill plate or pan), you can thread two parallel skewers through five side-by-side for easy turning with the assurance that none will fall through the grill slots.
To cook them, simply steam them until they are "fork tender" (easy to pierce, but still a vibrant green). Or you can pan sear or grill them in 2 Tb. Olive oil and 1 tsp. lemon juice with salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat in a flat row so they aren't stacked on each other, turning once for a cook time of 3-5 min. each side. They're a great side to ANY meat course.
How to Freeze Store Strawberries:
1. Discard any discolored/old berries.
2. Rinse in cold water.
4. Slice. Note:you can freeze whole, it's just that they take a long time to thaw and any berry thawed will not be as firm as fresh, so you rarely used them whole if you freeze them. Besides, have you tried to cut a thawed berry? Nobueno.)
5. Store in an airtight container, like a zip-lock bag, and be sure to date it! Berries can last up to 2 years.
TIP: When you freeze them, be sure to lay them flat; they'll thaw faster and make it easier to stack or stand up for max. freezer space and organization.
Enjoy those strawberry rhubarb pies next January!